My new book is coming out. Here’s an excerpt.
Nothing matters, on the spiritual path, if we don’t “turn that flower outward,” as my Buddhist teachers put it. Nothing matters, on the spiritual path, if it doesn’t make us less selfish and more caring.
Traditionally, Buddhists would say you have Buddha Nature—akin, more or less, to fundamental goodness—because, when you witness suffering, your instinctive reaction is to cry out in felt pain and try to stop that suffering from continuing. If you see a puppy getting kicked, you’ll try to stop it, whoever you are, hopefully, before you even realize what you’re doing.
So it’s not enough for any one of us to talk about meditation and eco-responsibility and empathy and yoga or what-have-you, if we don’t walk our talk when it comes to equal rights for all (and equity), and re-harmonizing society to address climate change fully. If we don’t pour water on the fires of hate, and begin to reverse the irreversible (yes, a contradiction) harm we’re doing to animals and our planet, none of the countless spiritual practices or teachings or quotes amount to anything.
So, please, vote. And for all of us, let’s do what we can. Less fighting online, more volunteering. Less worrying and anxiety, more reading and sharing journalism, not social media. Less hating “others,” more finding simple, fun, but meaningful ways to contribute to our community and our world. Less ordering on Amazon, more supporting moms n’pops and craft and community.
To that end, while Elephant is grateful to be read by millions of readers a month, our community is small—but while we’re small, we’re powerful. Please own your power, feel it, and share it with those who need help.
Turn that flower outward, and allow the world to be blessed by your Buddha Nature.
The above is an excerpt from Waylon H. Lewis’ forthcoming book, It’s Never too Late to Fall in Love with Your Life: Practical Buddhist advice for Everyday Life. It’s 365 quotes, with commentary, one for every day. Pre-order it here and save $5.